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Thread: For nerds only: Raspberry Pi for EMC2 controller?

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    Default For nerds only: Raspberry Pi for EMC2 controller?

    Raspberry Pi | An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!

    Might be interesting for a cheap EMC2 video controller... 700mhz, 256mb ram, runs on an SD card. Not sure about USB support, but a port for smoothstepper would be awesome. Using an LPT port is probably out of the question.

    Interesting idea, anyways. At $25 bucks it seems promising.

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    Registered amishx64's Avatar
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    Writing drivers for the USB end might be interesting. I'd be worried about performance too considering the small ram size. Personally, I think implementing something on an android tablet would be a bit more feasible especially as far as product lifetime/lifecycle is concerned. Food for thought.



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    Default EMC2 and Rasberry Pi.

    I would have thought it was better to control the CNC controller with the GPIO pins rather than any USB driver.

    There is supposed to be a Gert-Board for expansion facilities on the Raspberry Pi. Not sure how many bits of the GPIO port is being made available in the first incarnation or how many EMC2 needs

    The GPIO voltage levels are 3.3v so may need a chip like TXB0108 bi-directional level converter
    Keith



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    That's interesting. I just posted about using this chip for a 3.3V to 5V fix for parallel ports and I did think to apply it to this situation. You can find the mention to it in my comment history somewhere.

    As for the reason behind Android, it is a very widely used system and complete open source, so there are plenty of options for development. You would likely have to have the Droid talking to a secondary buffer board that holds lists of time-stamped future 'actions' and executes them according to realtime-clock ticks or a precision oscillator. This buffer-board could just implement a wireless protocall (say bluetooth) to talk to the Droid. Furthermore, the droid OS would allow for graphical control of the machine.



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    Sorry to disagree but I just don't see this happening for Andriod tablet. Because too difficult to interface hardware.

    Also CNC needs real time operating system. There is one for Linux and not such a large step for Rasberry Pi which already is supported by various flavours of linux. EMC2 being the Linux implementaion on x86.



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    You are perfectly fine to disagree. You have a very good point.

    Do you think Raspberry Pi and a SmoothStepper is the answer though? I can see it happening on the Pi, maybe with some extra hardware, but not with the SmoothStepper. It seems too... excessive.



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    Don't know much about Smoothstepper, but as far as I can see its a USB interface for Mach3 on a Windows PC. Unless they release the SDK for ARM & say Linux I don't see it as any relevance. I would have thought that USB is not the best way to go as there is a delay and lack of direct control. People used Printer ports on PC's because you have direct control of input and output pins. Trouble is what PC has a printer port these days. Given one is trying to drive CNC machines, I would always opt for Real Time Operating system ( i.e. Not windows ) and direct hardware interfacing. Both of which the Raspberry Pi should be able to do with the required developments.



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    Default emc2 on raspberry pi

    I order my raspberry pi to play with. I also want to test if emc2 can work on it. The problem is I am not a linux guy. I will be more than happy if we can work on it together.

    Regards,
    Nuri Erginer



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    Default RasPi EMC2

    I am also interested in running am embedded RPi EMC2 system, I have some linux background and I am willing to help in any Raspberry Pi Project, I am waiting for a pi to come my way and am thinking about attaching some h-bridges to the gpio. its is all very early days still, but anyone else interested in the project PM me and I'll see if I can start putting some preliminary documentation / designs together.

    ** Update ** Have just setup a project site. CNC Pi / Wiki / Home

    Last edited by dannynet; 03-06-2012 at 10:55 PM. Reason: UPDATE


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    I don't have much linux knowledge beyond being a user, but I will help wherever possible. It looks like it WILL have to use a smooth stepper, which is an extra cost, but considering the price of the Raspberry Pi it equals out quite nicely when you don't have to shell out a few hundred bucks for a PC. I doubt that a USB parallel port will work fast enough to satisfy the needs of EMC2, but if they could get it working it would be quite nice.

    I think the biggest hurdle will be getting smoothstepper drivers to work properly within Linux.



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    Quote Originally Posted by crane550 View Post
    it equals out quite nicely when you don't have to shell out a few hundred bucks for a PC.
    Oddly enough an old machine works much much better. I gave up trying to use linuxcnc on a laptop, although an old Pentium 4 desktop works like a charm (I tried a Dell Dimension 3000 motherboard that I had on hand). These can be picked up for next to nothing these days, especially if you know anyone who is upgrading .

    But I'd be interested in using a Pi as a controller source too!



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    Dynomotions k-flop works through USB. It also uses emc2 for g-code. It is a very powerful controller that takes the real time needs off the pc. It might make a good fit for what you are working on. I also don't see why you couldn't get it to work with an android tablet. Just my 2cents.
    Judleroy



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